17-20 years

Tips, Tricks & Resources

What to Expect

Expect lots of changes as your young adult becomes more and more independent. Most youth in this age range finish high school and start college, a job program, or career training. As they begin to venture on their own, stay active in their lives to help them become responsible adults. If your son or daughter is applying to CUNY, encourage them to consider joining CUNY ASAP! Find out more below.



Help earning your CUNY degree

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (CUNY ASAP)

The City University of New York (CUNY)

CUNY students can get financial, academic, and personal support to help them complete their associate degree.

Pre-high school equivalency (HSE) prep

Advance & Earn

NYC Department of Youth & Community Development

Youth increase reading and math skills to take high school equivalency tests and get job training, certifications, and paid internships.

A free City ID card


NYC Human Resources Administration

IDNYC can often be used as an official ID for all New Yorkers age 10 and over.

Paid summer experiences for youth

Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP)

NYC Department of Youth & Community Development

SYEP provides youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with paid summer experiences for up to six weeks.


Development continues through adolescence and into adulthood! The following milestones highlight your young adult's growth during this exciting time.

What most 17 - 20 years olds do at this age:

  • Social

    • Plan complex and long-term projects
    • Use problem-solving to manage issues
    • Control emotions
  • Communication

    • Are able to write more clearly than they speak
    • Can explain why they choose to do something
  • Learning

    • Are able to consider the impact their decisions will have on themselves and others in the future
    • Have high school-level reading and math skills
  • Health

    • Have 6 to 8 ounces of grains daily
    • Have 2 ½ to 3 cups of vegetables daily
    • Have 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruits daily
    • Have 3 cups of milk daily
    • Have 5 ½ to 6 ounces of meat and beans daily
    • Have 2 hours of physical activity (cardio) every week
    • Sleep about 7 - 9 hours per day

As your young adult transitions into adulthood, talk to them about risks and pressures they may face, including:

    • Unaddressed mental health issues
    • Criminal justice involvement
    • Abusive or unhealthy relationships
    • Substance misuse
    • Unsafe sex